Shining – 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd
Shining has been busy in their releases since I last left off at VII – Född Förlorare, I see. Some ov it looks promising, and some ov it looks lame as balls [see: Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt]. So in all truth, I’m not sure what to expect outta 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd. My experiences with this band have been varied from good to bad, but I suppose it is like that with most bands, yes? Anyways, enough useless filler! From the start, this release sounds promising, and herein is my analysis!
Can anyone blame me for being dubious about a band that sells pink girly shirts saying they hate them?
Kvarforth starts us off with Terres Des Anonymes, set up in typical Shining fashion, and for a while I can’t tell whether or not his vocal stylings have changed over the last couple years, but towards the middle ov the song, he kicks it right back to what I’m used to, while still keeping me guessing. Setting up the rest ov the album in this fashion, I can tell Shining have lost none ov their potency or ferocity, especially towards the end ov Terres. There’s this nice interlude with just methodic riffing and percussion that just immerses the listener in a depressive, driven malaise synonymous with V – Halmstad, and it is just awesome! The rest ov the album is set up like this as well, almost as though they’re trying to go back to their glory days when the music they crafted was worth a damn.
“Y’know, at one point our fans respected us, Nik.” “Shut up, Christian. . . .” – Probable convo they have before shows.
Now don’t misunderstand; I know that bands sometimes lose track ov what they’re all about [*cough* Dimmu Burger! *cough*], and it’s commendable ov Shining to attempt their former way ov doing things. The most prominent thing about this release is that it’s depressive and sorrowful, but just not as powerful as their previous numbered albums. That, coupled with Kvarforth’s mixed vocal style, it just makes everything seem off kilter. Not that it’s a bad thing, though. For instance, in Ett Liv Utan Mening, it’s more musical and instrument-based versus mixing it with his vocals. And they draw the listener in with this new gear-change, something I hope they continue to do in future releases, versus trying to cling tenaciously to the past. Considering that they’re one ov the most prolific and groundbreaking depressive bands to come out ov Sweden, it’s nice to see that they’re still willing to try new things.
All in all, this album both hails the past and tries to break new ground. In Black Industrial Misery and Selvdestruktivitetens emissarie, I noticed they recycled both songs from III – Angst. Not a bad thing, though definitely different as they were re-recorded this time around with different tunings. It just seems like they ran out ov ideas in the planning stages, both saddening and a stark reality that inevitably the band will stop producing original, new music. Be that as it may, they still did great, even if their tracks here were ½ recycled music. Maybe that’s why they labeled this one 8 ½? Recommended for any fan ov depressive black metal such as Hypothermia and Silencer.
Noteworthy tracks: Terres Des Anonymes, Ett Liv Utan Mening, Black Industrial Misery